Many professionals dread the unthinkable moment in presentations: an angry or aggressive attack. Don't you wish you had a magic remedy to calm people down -- without risking embarrassment and public humiliation?

In most corporate and professional settings, direct attacks are not commonplace. Instead, all kinds of more subtle interactions are the norm. However, from time to time, you are likely to encounter strong emotions, anger, and resentment. All the 'yucky stuff' most presenters strive to avoid.

What can you do if the dreaded thing happens?

Apply proven presentation techniques to be persuasive, calm people down, and avoid embarrassment.

Let me ask you a simple question: what do you dread most?

• Presenting an important project to your boss or supervisor
• Discussing a critical project with a bully
• Saying the wrong thing - and not knowing how to recover
• Putting your foot in your mouth
• Bearing the brunt of ridicule and abuse from co-workers

These are just a few of the scary moments in presenting. But if you are speaking in public, at one time or another, some of these uncomfortable moments will appear. No doubt, from time to time, your ideas and recommendations will be challenged.

Instead of slinking into the corner and giving up before you begin, what can you do? Get more skillful at handling these difficult situations. There's good news here. These are interpersonal presentation skills that can be learned.

You don't have to be born with the gene of communication. You don't have to be super-human and know how to solve every problem before it shows up. Instead, you can focus on building your skills. In a short time, you can build the right set of skills, feel more confident, and be more effective in front of any group.

Use these 3 tips to win respect and get your ideas heard.

Tip 1: Find Common Ground

First, find common ground. Look for the connection in values, direction, or process that you share with your audience. Hint: there is always common ground. If it's not obvious at first, keep looking.

Tip 2: Focus On The Big Picture

Resist the urge to immediately jump into all the details of your specific proposal or recommendation. Stick to the big picture. Give the overview -- first.

Tip 3: Listen With Total Focus

Listen to what is said with complete focus. Instead of thinking about what you are going to say next, listen. By listening intently you show that you care about what people think.

You may not agree with the content of what they are saying. However, by listening with full attention, you show respect. This often calms people down.

Knowing how to calm people down requires practice, skill and the right tools. You can use body language, words, gestures, and visual sketches to create a calmer environment and encourage open communication.

If you dread conflict, or have ever "lost it" in a professional presentation, this is an important area to develop your skills.

Learn how to calm people down, without embarrassing yourself or them. Knowing what to do in different settings gives you confidence and skill to be more effective in presenting.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through online presentation skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: http://www.presentationstoryboarding.com/